People with Disabilities Celebrated at Australian Fashion Week

A runway show for people with disabilities will feature at Afterpay Australian Fashion Week (AAFW) in May.

The consumer show will put the Adaptive Clothing Collective in the spotlight, a new group of three adaptive fashion labels which aim to “bring strength and unity of message and voice to mainstream media, retail and fashion industries”.

Fashion brand Christina Stephens, led by Jessie Sadler, is one of the founding members of the group.

This year, AAFW has again worked with disability consultants Lisa Cox and Nikki Hind to ensure the inclusivity of the event, from the programming to the runway shows.

Last year was the first time models with disabilities featured at AAFW, including Paralympians Reed McCracken, Sarah Walsh and Michael Roeger. The event was faced with controversy when several of the models struggled to go down the runway in the closing show.

“It was an incredible experience to be a part of a fashion show…when I was growing up, I knew that I always wanted to be a Paralympian and represent Australia. But I’d seen that on TV and I’d seen people who had gone to the Paralympics just like me, but never once saw someone with a disability walking the catwalk at Fashion Week,” Walsh said in an interview with Athletics NSW after the event.

“To be able to pave the way for the next generation of people with a disability, to be able to do something like that and make more worlds and more organisations more inclusive is pretty special.”

Afterpay Australian Fashion Week will run from 9-13 May at Carriageworks in Sydney and virtually at, featuring both industry and consumer events.